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Longtime Companion [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Caffrey, Patrick Cassidy, Brian Cousins, Bruce Davison, Campbell Scott
  • Directors: Norman René
  • Writers: Craig Lucas
  • Producers: Lindsay Law, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Stan Wlodkowski
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Vidmark / Trimark
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301873238
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,851 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The late director Norman Rene and writer Craig Lucas made a pretty fine creative team on the stage and in the movies, and this 1990 drama about the evolving impact of AIDS on gay New Yorkers is their best cinematic achievement. The ensemble story follows the lives of nine or so characters as word of the so-called "gay cancer" eventually becomes a real force, killing several of them as the years go by. The film works well on a number of levels, not least of which is the enviable closeness of the characters, the script's wit, the bittersweet experience of loss, and a celebratory attitude at the end mixing wisdom with defiance. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Many of my friends think there are better films...but this is such a beautiful work .
David G. Smith
As a lesbian fully active in the gay community during the onset of AIDS, I lived this experience, it is absolutely spot on.
Iryshkidd
This movie really touched me so much. it makes you want to be more daring in your life by accepting who we are.
Adam Ali

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By David G. Smith on February 18, 2001
Format: DVD
I am a playwright, a straight forty two year old teacher who writes a lot of pieces about homophobia and aids for my high school students. I must believe that this film, and the play Our Town are the two most influential pieces in my writing life...This probably shouldn't matter to you but it matters to me. Many of my friends think there are better films...but this is such a beautiful work . The acting in it, Bruce Davidson, Mark Lamos, Stephen Caffrey, Mary Louise Parker,....so miraculous, so rich. The movies is heartbreakingly sad, the plague in human terms, but at times, extremely funny. The string quartet of ymca is quite amazing. And I won't give away the last scenes...but...for me, they some very influential sentiments and concepts. I can't praise this thing enough.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Get What We Give VINE VOICE on October 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Bette Davis may still be making gay men weep when she dies in Dark Victory, but this does the same thing only with the "gay man" in the lead.
The acting in this film is superb (Bruce Davidson was nominated for an Oscar). The script is excellent. The story, sadly, is all too memorable, historical, believable, and true to life. This is a film that makes you laugh, makes you cry, and then stomps on your heart for good measure.
I was just coming out when the first whispered rumors of GRID first hit the streets. I was in Atlanta and the word came from NY. We knew it could never reach us. How wrong we were!
This film takes me back to those first carefree days of my "out" life and then walks me back through an accurate account of my life thereafter historically. I am fortunate. I never got HIV or AIDS, but I lost many many friends who did.
Every time I watch this film, the last scene makes me bawl my eyes out, remembering the wonderful friends I've lost to this horrible disease.
Watch this film and take it to heart that there is something to fear in having unprotected sex! Mandatory for young gay men and recommended for parents of the same, so they can support their gay sons.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Ogi on March 3, 2003
Format: DVD
I had seen Longtime Companion in it's first release, and, ironically, have received it as part of my home collection from a friend who passed from the disease.
My assessment of a great film is that it makes you relate to a world that is completely foreign to you. Being a straight woman with a circle of gay, male friends, this was not a subject I was unfamilliar with. I have, however, screened this film for several friends who weren't so familliar with gay culture and the issues that surround it. They were astounded at how powerfully this film conveyed the lifestyle and terror in a way that never bordered on melodrama.
There are two scenes that are gripping, one of which comes near the end and I won't destroy it's intent by revealing it here. The first scene that will just leave you numb is Bruce Davison's character at his lover's side urging him to 'just rest,' as he essentially begs him to die. It is quietly and poigniantly stoic and will break your heart. Davison's Oscar nod for this performance was WELL deserved.
This is a movie that requires an open mind, but if you are looking for a film that will give you an enlightening view of a lifestyle you don't live, this is a great film for you and will not disappoint.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Libretio on November 14, 2001
Format: DVD
LONGTIME COMPANION

(USA - 1990)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

Initially conceived as a response to Hollywood's hypocritical reluctance to depict the AIDS crisis within mainstream cinema, LONGTIME COMPANION limped into production in 1989 on half the projected $3 million budget, generously donated by producer Lindsay Law and the American Playhouse company, only to face another uphill struggle as soon as the movie was completed. Until the Samuel Goldwyn company bought worldwide distribution rights (somewhat reluctantly, it must be said), most mainstream and independent distributors were disinclined to tackle a movie which concentrates exclusively on the devastating effects of AIDS on a group of middle-class gay men from the years 1981 to 1988. Apparently, it's OK if the drama involves a cute kid who was accidentally infected by a tainted blood transfusion, or if it features a teary-eyed heterosexual mom who inadvertently 'contaminates' her big butch heterosexual husband, but not if it's about a bunch of (gays). Aware of this sickening double standard, writer Craig Lucas and debut director Norman René held back on the explicit love scenes and aimed their film at the widest possible audience.

That it still works is due in large part to a fantastic ensemble cast headlined by Bruce Davison as the 'mother hen' figure who holds court over a disparate group of writers, actors, businessmen, and their various friends and associates. Davison was Oscar-nominated for his strong performance, though he's matched every step of the way by Campbell Scott (son of George C.) as a young man who struggles desperately to hide from the reality of the horrors around him after his best friend (Dermot Mulroney) becomes one of the first casualties.
Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By LARRY on January 3, 2007
Format: DVD
I thought that *Longtime Companion* was an endearing tearjerker of a movie. This films is about a cluster of friends, dying one by one from AIDS during the 80's.

The movie opens in 1980, with this particular circle of friends. Everyone is healthy and dandy. One man meets a hairy guy and they've maintained a relationship throughout the film. This movie immediately opens with all of them reading about this mysterious virus that seems to be attacking gay men. At first, it seemed to be associated with gay men who do poppers. This virus has earned a nickname, "gay cancer". It wasn't until a couple of years later that this virus was finally termed AIDS.

The whole AIDS was not still not clear to people, including gay men. In this film, you'll see how some gay men are uncomfortable with AIDS and especially those afflicted. You'll see men afraid to have sex. Afraid to kiss. Heck, you'll even see one washing his hands and face vigorously after greeting his friend who is dying from AIDS.

The time frame between the death of one friend to another friend having AIDS is quick. The movie jumps one year to another that surrounds an afflicted friends. You'll think that the movie doesn't build up enough for you to get emotional. Not true. You'll cry! So, have a box of Kleenex ready.

I love this movie and I cannot believe that I haven't seen it earlier. I often hear about older gay men retelling stories of the 70's and 80's on how gay life use to be as well as witnessing the deaths of their close friends to AIDS. Today, those affliced with HIV/AIDS are living longer, thanks to modern medicine. However, I cannot imagine what it was like, living in fear of a virus that seemed to be targeting gay men and the doctors could not seem to treat it.

Overall, it's a good movie that's worth your time. Check it out with a box of tissues.
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